Sometimes my musings are current and other times they are reflective. And thus, at points, my Blog may come across as a little random or disjointed. My apologies, but at times I just start thinking about things that leads me down a rabbit hole.
Today is one such day. If you and I were having a general conversation about Life and Religion, we might go through several topics and levels before arriving at the Creation story in Genesis within the Bible. Furthermore, we might then have several discussions about Creation vs. Evolution, and the question might come up “Could God have used evolution to create the world?” There are thousands, nay millions of Christians today that say they believe in God, they believe in the Bible, they believe the Creation story, BUT … Whoa! What “but“? I thought you believed? Yeah, but what about Science? What about the allegorical nature of the story? What about … and fill in whatever questioning nature you wish to throw in here.
Well what about them? I love a good challenge, unfortunately I am human and can only deal with these things one at a time. So at another time I hope to come back and discuss these things. For now, I’ll concede that there are Christian’s (lots and lots of them) who ask the question about Evolution and then try and force fit it into their understanding of the story of Genesis. There are two general schools of thought on this. The first is that all of that Evolutionary stuff happened before Genesis 1:1. All of the Big Bang stuff, the formation of the Earth, the Dinosaurs, etc. all happened prior to Genesis 1:1 and the Bible simply picks up the story there. That is one discussion. The second school of thought is that all of the Evolutionary stuff happened within the first chapter of Genesis. Genesis, with a keen eye toward brevity, compressed about 4.5 billion years of history into the first chapter and then picked up where the story gets to be really interesting. It is this second school of thought on Genesis I’d like to consider today.
The people that accept this school of thought modify and adjust their world view in order to mash two competing philosophies together. Creation and Evolution. And generally, the way they do this is to redefine a day.
Here is the basic line of reasoning. Genesis Chapter 1 lays out several things happening on day boundaries. In order to fit hundreds of millions of years into a day, our day detractors will point out that a day is a thousand years to the Lord. They find this in a couple of different places. One might be Psalm 90:4 and the other is 2 Peter 3:8. It all comes down to the Hebrew word yom (pronounced yome) and the debate as to whether we are talking about an age (as in a period of time – the Medieval Age) or an actual 24 hour day.
So here we are, Genesis Chapter 1 verse 1 and God is starting to Create. And as God creates, we draw to the close of the first day (Verse 5). And I will point out to our day detractors at this point that all Hebrew scholars agree that when we see the word yom bounded by Evening (ereb) and Morning (boqer) that the definition is one 24 hour day. And in an absolute amazing disregard for logic and fact, our day detractors will brush away what the Scripture is telling them and insert their own reality as it matches up with their already defined world view.
OK, so the Bible very clearly says the Evening (ereb), which is indisputably sunset or the end of the day. And the Morning (boqer), which is indisputably sunrise or the beginning of the day, and we are left with a bounded 24 hour period or one day. Thus yom, in this instance, must be referring to a 24 hour day and not an age. And while many scholars will agree with this we still have our day detractors.
So my question then becomes, when is a day not a day? I mean I need to know what the parameters are so that I may interpret the Bible correctly. So, please tell me:
Genesis 1:14 – God defines seasons, days (yom – plural), and years. An age, or a 24 hour day?
Genesis 1:16 – God sets lights to rule the day (yom) and the night. An age, or a 24 hour day?
Genesis 2:17 – In the day (yom) that Adam/Eve eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they shall surely die. An age, or a 24 hour day?
Allow me to compress this a little bit: Genesis 3:8, Genesis 3:14, Genesis 3:17, Genesis 4:14, Genesis 5:1, Genesis 5:2, Genesis 5:4, Genesis 5:5, Genesis 5:8, Genesis 5:11 …
Did Noah wait 40 days before opening the window of the the Ark? Was Jonah in the belly of the fish for 3 days? Did Jesus Christ spend 40 days in the wilderness, 3 days in the tomb? When in the world is a day not a day?
Amazingly enough, our day detractors will define other days as a 24 hour period of one rotation of the Earth. Just not the days they need to modify to validate their world view. The two verses I marked in red above, refer to the Creation of Adam and Eve and the day thereof. I suppose our day detractors might want to make those an age so that it fits their world view (man Evolved over millions of years) but then Adam immediately lives 130 years (consisting of 24 hour days) in Verse 3.
Are you selective with a day being a day? I believe there are two problems with redefining things to be something they are not. The first is it is intellectually dishonest. When you accept this fallacy you bring any real definition into question. As in “What did you mean by that?” And then second is you fit things into your world view, instead of accepting them for what they are, and you miss the truth and wonder before you.
Why not try letting a Day be a Day? It might just open up a whole new world of freedom to you. And it might also expose the miracles of God in a much more substantial light.